Shirdi Sai Avatar To The Sathya Sai Baba Avatar
Mrs. V.Bala Tripura Sundari
B2, East Prasanthi
Prasanthi Nilayam – 515134
Mrs. V. Bala Tripura Sundari (105) has the good fortune of worshipping both Shirdi Sai Baba and Sri Sathya Sai Baba. She will complete 106 years of age by Dasara in October, 2004. She narrates her experiences in her own words.
‘When I was of 13 years of age, I went to Manmad where my husband was the Station Master in the Railways. He was a devotee of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba. My first Darshan of Baba was when I was 13 years old (in about 1908). Once Baba gave me a Sivalingam with panavattam along with a silver casket to put it. The casket also looked like a Sivalinga with panavattam, in which the linga fit exactly. Baba gave me padukalu also.
My husband passed away at Nampalli in 1954. I stayed at Hyderabad and Chirala for a few years. It was my desire to settle at Shirdi. But, owing to the pressure of some relatives and acquaintances, I came to Prasanthi Nilayam to see Sri Sathya Sai Baba. I did not believe that He was Shirdi Sai Baba incarnate. This was sometime in 1965. In those days, we used to go to Chitravati for bath and to get water. I used to tell openly my fellow devotees that I would not stay in this forest, but would like to go and settle in Shirdi. I was even saying that this Baba was not my Baba.
One day, after returning from Chitravati, I was doing cooking when Sri Sathya Sai Baba came to me.
‘It seems you don’t want to stay here’, Swami began.
‘Yes, Swami!’ I replied somewhat hesitantly, ‘I want to go to Shirdi’.
‘What will you do there’ Swami asked, ‘when I am here? What you say is a forest will become a big city. You will see it’.
Suddenly, I don’t know why, I ventured to blurt out, ‘my Baba is there. So I want to go to Shirdi’.
‘Is it?’ Swami asked and said, ‘Look!’
I looked at Him. He was not there. In His place was Sri Sai Baba of Shirdi in flesh and blood. ‘My Baba!’ I cried and fell on His feet. Till then I was making namaskar to Sri Sathya Sai Baba, but never made Padanamaskar because I did not believe that He was my Baba, even though my fellow devotees were telling me to take Padanamaskar when Swami came and stood before me. When I lifted my face, there was Sri Sathya Sai Standing before me.
‘When are you leaving for Shirdi?’ Swami chuckled.
‘I am not going anywhere, Swami!’ I replied, ‘my Baba is here. I will be here.’
One day Swami asked me, ‘where is the lingam I gave you? Give it back to me.’
I was surprised. ‘You did not give me any lingam, Swami!’ I told Him.
‘Remember’, Swami recalled the whole incident in Shirdi when He had given me lingam and bharine (silver casket).
‘Keep padukas with you’, Swami said, ‘but give back the lingam’.
When I brought the bharine, Swami removed the lingam and returned the bharine to me. He took the lingam in His hand. It just disappeared. After some time, I wanted to send all silver articles used by me for pooja, to Swami. I sent the bharine also along with them to Swami. Padukas are still with me.
Swami was kind enough to allot me the room No. B2 in East Prasanthi so that I can have His Darshan from the Verandah itself, in deference to my old age. I am continuing in that flat even now.
— Mrs. V. Bala Tripura Sundari